Brain Imaging and Behavior

, Volume 9, Issue 4, pp 854–867 | Cite as

Errors on interrupter tasks presented during spatial and verbal working memory performance are linearly linked to large-scale functional network connectivity in high temporal resolution resting state fMRI

  • Matthew Evan Magnuson
  • Garth John Thompson
  • Hillary Schwarb
  • Wen-Ju Pan
  • Andy McKinley
  • Eric H. Schumacher
  • Shella Dawn Keilholz
Original Research

Abstract

The brain is organized into networks composed of spatially separated anatomical regions exhibiting coherent functional activity over time. Two of these networks (the default mode network, DMN, and the task positive network, TPN) have been implicated in the performance of a number of cognitive tasks. To directly examine the stable relationship between network connectivity and behavioral performance, high temporal resolution functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) data were collected during the resting state, and behavioral data were collected from 15 subjects on different days, exploring verbal working memory, spatial working memory, and fluid intelligence. Sustained attention performance was also evaluated in a task interleaved between resting state scans. Functional connectivity within and between the DMN and TPN was related to performance on these tasks. Decreased TPN resting state connectivity was found to significantly correlate with fewer errors on an interrupter task presented during a spatial working memory paradigm and decreased DMN/TPN anti-correlation was significantly correlated with fewer errors on an interrupter task presented during a verbal working memory paradigm. A trend for increased DMN resting state connectivity to correlate to measures of fluid intelligence was also observed. These results provide additional evidence of the relationship between resting state networks and behavioral performance, and show that such results can be observed with high temporal resolution fMRI. Because cognitive scores and functional connectivity were collected on nonconsecutive days, these results highlight the stability of functional connectivity/cognitive performance coupling.

Keywords

Cognitive processing High temporal resolution fMRI Resting state Default mode network Task positive network Working memory Interrupter task 

Abbreviations

PVT

psychomotor vigilance task

SST

symmetry span task

OST

operation span task

RAPM

Raven’s advanced progressive matrices

DMN

default mode network

TPN

task positive network

Functional network

functionally connected network

Notes

Acknowledgments

Funding was provided in part by the Bio-nano-enabled Inorganic/Organic Nanostructures and Improved Cognition (BIONIC) Air Force Center of Excellence at the Georgia Institute of Technology. This research was also partially funded under an appointment to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Scholarship and Fellowship Program, administered by the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE) through an interagency agreement between the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and DHS (contract number DE-AC05-06OR23100). All opinions expressed in this paper are the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the policies and views of DHS, DOE, or ORAU/ORISE. We would also like to thank Dr. Waqas Majeed for his suggestions regarding data preprocessing, Nytavia Wallace for her assistance with data collection, and Brian Roberts for his insightful discussions.

Conflict of interest

Matthew Evan Magnuson, Garth John Thompson, Hillary Schwarb, Wen-Ju Pan, Andy McKinley, Eric H. Schumacher, and Shella Dawn Keilholz declare that they have no conflicts of interest.

Informed consent

All procedures followed were in accordance with the ethical standards of the responsible committee on human experimentation (institutional and national) and with the Helsinki Declaration of 1975, and the applicable revisions at the time of the investigation. Informed consent was obtained from all patients for being included in the study.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Matthew Evan Magnuson
    • 1
  • Garth John Thompson
    • 1
  • Hillary Schwarb
    • 2
  • Wen-Ju Pan
    • 1
  • Andy McKinley
    • 3
  • Eric H. Schumacher
    • 2
  • Shella Dawn Keilholz
    • 1
  1. 1.Georgia Institute of Technology and Biomedical EngineeringEmory UniversityAtlantaUSA
  2. 2.Georgia Institute of Technology School of PsychologyAtlantaUSA
  3. 3.Air Force Research Laboratory Wright-Patterson Air Force BaseAtlantaUSA

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